Scotland's contribution to the Paris Agreement: indicative Nationally Determined Contribution

Scotland’s contribution to the Paris Agreement – an indicative Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

Scotland's Indicative Nationally Determined Contribution

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are at the heart of the Paris Agreement, and set out frameworks, commitments and actions underway to reduce emissions in line with limiting global warming to well below 2ºC above pre-industrial levels (with pursuit of efforts to limit it to 1.5 ºC) and adapt to the impacts of climate change[1].

The Scottish Government is committed to raising global climate ambition and action at all levels and from all sections of society. As part of our commitment and ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, we are publishing our indicative nationally determined contribution in the spirit of the Paris Agreement[2] to encourage others to similarly set out their climate change policies and plans and in order to support increased individual and collective ambition and action. The scale, scope and speed of the transformation that is required and to which Scotland is committed brings significant challenges, but anything less would be to fail our people and planet. Our aim is that setting out our framework and commitments on climate mitigation and adaptation in this way can support the learning, openness and working alongside each other we all require, as together we can tackle those challenges and move to a Net Zero, fairer and more sustainable future.

Drawing together Scotland's ambitious policy framework and commitments to climate change action, this iNDC sets out Scotland's approach to tackling climate change, including our distinct framework of statutory emissions reduction targets, and focus on the necessity and opportunities of a just transition to net-zero emissions that creates green jobs, tackles inequalities and nurtures wellbeing. In this, Scotland recognises climate change as a human rights issue and action on climate change to be fundamentally important to the future prosperity of Scotland's people and the planet.

Scotland's indicative nationally determined contribution

A 2030 target to reduce emissions of all major greenhouse gases by at least 75%, compared to a 1990/1995 baseline. This target is legally binding in Scotland's domestic law and was set in direct response to the aims of the Paris Agreement.

Scotland's 2030 emissions reduction target is part of a wider framework of action that will end Scotland's contribution to climate change by 2045 in a just and fair way, while ensuring we are planning and taking action to adapt to the impacts of climate change. This framework includes:

  • Legally binding annual emissions reduction targets for every year from now until a net-zero emissions target date of 2045 at the latest. These targets are coupled to a strong commitment, reflected in legislation, on delivering a just transition to net-zero. This means reducing emissions in a way that is fair and creates a better future for everyone – regardless of where they live, what they do, or who they are.
  • A comprehensive plan for delivering emissions reductions out to 2032 as part of a green recovery from COVID-19, and including a key role for nature-based solutions to tackle the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. The plan is also supported by a public engagement strategy to encourage and secure ambitious action by people and across all sections of society.
  • Support for investment at scale in the transition to net-zero through the establishment of a Scottish National Investment Bank, whose principal mission is to support a just transition to net-zero.
  • A people-centred and place-based approach to climate change adaptation in Scotland, which is closely aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Taking a climate justice approach to our international development through the world's first Climate Justice Fund; and working in collaboration with our international partners to deliver global change in a fair and sustainable way, including in Scotland's role as co-chair of the Under2 Coalition, representing 220 regions and governments across the world.

Further information is set out within the remainder of this document, as follows:

  • Part 1: An overview of Scotland's approach in key areas (pages 4 – 10)
  • Part 2: Further information to facilitate clarity, transparency and understanding of the mitigation aspects of Scotland's indicative nationally determined contribution target for 2030 (following, as far as possible, the "ICTU" format used for NDCs) (pages 11 – 26)
  • Part 3: Further information on Scotland's action on adaptation and resilience (following, as far as possible, the Adaptation Communication format) (pages 27 – 36)



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